Turkey

No ransom demand for Turkish drivers in Iraq: Deputy FM

Naci Koru dismisses claims that ISIL militants demanded ransom for 31 Turkish nationals seized in Mosul

14.06.2014
No ransom demand for Turkish drivers in Iraq: Deputy FM

ANKARA

No ransom demand has been received from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants holding 31 Turkish truck drivers they seized in Iraq last week, Turkey's Deputy Foreign Minister Naci Koru has said.

Koru's comments came amid reports that a ransom had been demanded for the drivers who were taken hostage on Tuesday while they were transporting fuel to a thermal power plant in Mosul's Gyarah region.

"Neither we, nor the companies, have received such demands," Koru said, also dismissing claims that ISIL militants had taken the hostages to Syria.

Regarding the 49 Turkish consulate staff and family members who were abducted on Wednesday in Mosul by the ISIL, Koru said that they were all in one place and in good health, citing intelligence sources.

'No ill-treatment'

Koru said that 31 of the consulate staff were special operations officers, and there were no reports of ill-treatment towards any of the family members.

Koru also dismissed further claims that the consulate staff were not evacuated due to an "assurance" given by local people or organizations as to their welfare.

Noting that all consulate staff in Mosul were driven in armored vehicles and escorted by local military forces for outside errands, Koru said that the staff could not be evacuated because the local administration - without prior notice - removed from duty all Iraqi police and soldiers in charge of securing the Turkish consulate. 

The consulate group was abducted on Wednesday, a day after the militants also took control of Mosul and seized the Turkish truck drivers.

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